The Skopje Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the Balkans
"Transcontinental Cooperation Efforts amongst European Nations: The Future of Northern-Southern European Relations"

(Skopje, November 13th - 14th, 2013)

Summit Overview

With the ongoing economic tumult faced by inhabitants across the European continent, the need for cooperation between the Southern and Northern states of Europe is becoming more pronounced than ever.  Taking into account the diverse cultural and historical landscapes of the regions, especially that of the Balkan region, the potential for the solution of salient issues confronting the continent today by the exchange of experiences and know-how is immense. The Balkan states, with their progressive integration into the European Union, are rapidly beginning to assert their crucial positions within the continent, warranting a greater role for these to play in future economic, social, and political developments within Europe. The unique and rich cultural elements of this region and their expression through Cultural Diplomacy will prove invaluable as a bridge and line of communication between the North and South of Europe, thus greatly facilitating bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the 'old continent' and allowing Europe to strengthen and maintain its role as a major power in the international arena.

With the aim of augmenting intra-continental exchange and cooperation, the "Skopje Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the Balkans" will analyze and explore how intercultural bridges between the Balkans and the rest of Europe can serve as a vehicle to strengthen relations between the Southern and Northern nation states of contemporary Europe across all spheres, whether economic, social, political, or cultural. This will allow for the inclusive formulation of common solutions and policies to common problems, leading to a more united and stronger Europe.

Summit Participants

Participation in the summit events is by invitation only.

Summit Speakers

Speakers and delegates during the conferences will include, among others, heads of state and leading politicians, chief diplomats, leading governmental officials, senior academics, renowned authors, journalists, and celebrated artists. These speakers will include a large number of individuals from the ICD Advisory Board. To learn more about the ICD Advisory Board, please click here

Conference Agenda

The Conference will feature a variety of lectures, seminars, and panel discussions, providing participants the unique opportunity to engage in stimulating debate on the present and future challenges of North-South relations within Europe. Participants will also be invited to contribute to the development of creative solutions and recommendations to achieve a more effective and integrated Europe.

The overall objective of the "Skopje Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the Balkans" is to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and open-minded exchange of views on a range of salient issues surrounding the role of the Balkan states in Europe and their contribution to intra-continental cooperation. The Conference will invite participants to rethink the nature, objectives, and future of the North-South exchange, and its role as a fortifier of European economic, social, political, and cultural identity.

The Conference will focus in particular on the following areas:
  • Cultural Pluralism in the Balkans
    • The state of culture diversities in the Balkans
    • Creating the conditions for peaceful co-existence among diverse cultural groups
    • Cultural Diplomacy as a bridge between Balkan states
  • The Integration of the 'Powder-keg of Europe' into Regional Integration Processes
    • A recent history of the Balkan region and the post-1990s recovery
    • A transformation from war-stricken countries to EU candidates, focusing on the case of Serbia
    • The role of youth in strengthening the Balkan position within Europe
  • North-South Cooperation in Europe
    • Formulating joint initiatives to overcome the economic crisis
    • Managing flows of refugees from the East, with the Balkans as a gateway
    • Cooperating to create a common European foreign policy
    • A shift towards a "United States of Europe"